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J Chem Ecol. 2002 Jan;28(1):211-28.

Comparing the variation of needle and wood terpenoids in Scots pine provenances.

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  • 1Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, University of Kuopio, Finland.


We determined variation in both the concentration and composition of terpenoids in needles and wood within nine Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) provenances. Seedlings of different provenances representing a 1200-km N-S transect from Estonia to northern Finland were cultivated in Suonenjoki nursery field, central Finland, for seven years. Growth of seedlings and the number of vertical resin ducts in wood were also determined. alpha-Pinene and 3-carene were the major monoterpenes both in the needles and wood. The total monoterpene concentration was about five times higher in the needles than in the wood. A strong positive correlation was found between proportional quantities of several terpenes of the needles and wood, particularly for 3-carene, sabinene, and terpinolene. The needles contained both labdane-type and tricyclic resin acids, whereas the wood contained only tricyclic ones. The wood had a four times higher tricyclic resin acid concentration than the needles. The highest total monoterpene concentration in the needles and in the wood occurred in the most northern Muonio provenance and in the most southern Saaremaa provenance plants, respectively. The amount of high 3-carene genotype trees decreased among the northern provenances. The wood of the most northern Muonio provenance showed the lowest total resin acid concentration, but provenance did not affect total tricyclic resin acids in the needles. Korpilahti provenance trees from central Finland had the best growth in height. In addition, Korpilahti and Ruokolahti provenance trees showed largest radial growth of stem and smallest number of vertical resin ducts. The results suggest that especially the proportional quantity of 3-carene in the needles could be used in estimating the amount of this compound in the wood and vice versa.

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